Are millennials reconnecting to cable television?

The New York Times on Monday reported on a study by Nielsen, which claims millennials may start reconnecting to cable and satellite service once they grow families.

“We think behaviors could change once the so-called millennials start having families,” said Glenn B. Enoch, senior vice president for audience insights at Nielsen, according to the story.

The study shows that 80 percent of millennials who started a family in their own homes have subscribed to cable. And 75 percent of childless millennials in their own homes have cable.

This is a normal thing. Many people who have children will want to make it easier to find quick entertainment for the kids. And in an age of instant gratification and need-now urgency, cable offers a relatively fast antidote to the screaming child, or even the quick educational fix.

But while millennials may start bringing cable back to their homes, one must look beyond this current crop to see the trend. As I wrote in the new Trends Monthly, mammoth corporations are beginning to assess how to branch out with niche and streaming services. The eye is away from the living room set, and more focused on the handheld device.

The Late Millennials (1988-2000) will drive this trend most. The oldest people in this generation are only 27, with the bulk of this group still childless and living dependently. This group has also lived nearly exclusively in the internet age; they’re much more adept with handheld devices, and prefer spending time with them over the living room set.

The Drop: There could very well be an increase in new cable subscriptions over the next two to three years. Look beyond, into the five-year track, and you’ll see the full change: streaming for all. It will happen, and more than likely, the mammoth corporations will dictate this.

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